Helping birds since 1971
On a fog-shrouded morning in January 1971, two oil tankers collided near the Golden Gate Bridge off San Francisco, resulting in a spill that stained 50 miles of coastline with thick bunker crude. It killed thousands of birds and moved people to action. It was also the genesis of International Bird Rescue.
Founder Alice Berkner volunteers to help treat birds at Oregon Standard oil spill in San Francisco Bay. Over 7,000 live birds were treated after the spill fouls 50 miles of coastline.
International Bird Rescue Research Center (now known simply as “International Bird Rescue”) is founded and moves into a warehouse in Berkeley, CA.
The city of Berkeley gives Bird Rescue buildings and land in Aquatic Park for $5 a year. Governor Jerry Brown sends a letter of support to the organization.
Bird Rescue signs first oil spill response contract with Alyeska Pipeline Service Company in Alaska.
Research indicates that Dawn detergent is the most effective and safe way to clean birds.
Net bottom cages that help prevent pressure sores in birds developed during the Puerto Rican oil spill, San Francisco Bay.
“Rehabilitating Oiled Seabirds: A Field Manual” is published, becoming Bird Rescue’s second book on handling oiled animals.
Jay Holcomb joins the staff during the Arco Anchorage spill, which fouls the Northern California coastline and kills 9,000 seabirds. Bird Rescue creates the first spill response team.
Exxon Valdez oil spill in Prince William Sound, Alaska. Bird Rescue staff spends six months managing three bird centers and two search and collection programs. Eagles, Puffins, Murres and other seabirds are treated.
American Trader oil spill off Huntington Beach, California. Bird Rescue leads effort to save over 150 Brown Pelicans, and assists with research into oiled pelican survivability.
Alaska Wildlife Response Center (AWRC) opens in Anchorage as the centralized oiled bird facility for the State.
Bird Rescue develops warm water therapy pool prototype, which increases survival rates of oiled aquatic birds.
An International Bird Rescue and International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) Emergency Response team directs massive effort to relocate 19,500 non-oiled African penguins and rescue, rehabilitate and wash 20,000 more during the Treasure Oil Spill, Cape Town, South Africa. A 90% release rate is achieved.
Bird Rescue and IFAW team rushes to the Galapagos Islands when a tanker spills oil, threatening some of the World’s most unique and endangered species.
Bird Rescue moves its San Francisco Bay headquarters to Fairfield, and opens a new Los Angeles area wildlife hospital and oiled bird center in San Pedro – these bird rescue clinics become key centers for the OWCN network.
Over 250 baby Brown Pelicans are rehabilitated with Bird Rescue’s help at an oil spill in Breton National Wildlife Refuge in Louisiana.
Bird Rescue staff successfully washes and rehabilitates 32 Bald Eagles oiled while feeding from an open truck from an Alaska fish processing plant.
Starting in late April, a team of bird rescue specialists from International Bird Rescue and Tri-State Bird Rescue worked along the Gulf Coast for six months to help with an all-hands-on-deck effort to rescue seabirds caught in oil from the BP Deepwater Horizon well blowout.